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Warning issued on drug-resistant gonorrhoea outbreak

An outbreak of highly drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the north of England has led health authorities to issue a public health warning.

So far, Public Health England (PHE) has found 15 cases, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) stated.

Eleven cases have been reported in the Leeds outbreak, which began in March 2015, and since then a further four cases have been detected in patients from Macclesfield, Oldham and Scunthorpe.

BASHH said in a statement: “We would like to highlight to clinicians that if a strain of high level azithromycin resistant gonorrhoea is detected in one of their patients that they should make particularly rigorous efforts to ensure patients are followed up and receive a test of cure (TOC) and that all their partners are contacted, tested and, where necessary, treated and followed up for TOC.”

Some of the cases have reported partners from other parts of England, and all cases to date are a high level azithromycin resistant gonorrhoea in heterosexual patients.

“Clinicians should be especially vigilant to potential treatment failure in their patients and report any cases where this is suspected through the treatment failure reporting form available on the HIV & STI web portal  or the PHE gonorrhoea treatment failure webpage ,” the Association urged.